Monday, October 3, 2011

Goodbye my friend...

Dear Arpan

Two days ago someone mentioned you by name and told me that I had to stop living in regret. I had to recognise the importance of people when they are alive and not fret after they are gone.

Gone. That is what you are. And it is 17 years since I heard the news.

17 years can be a long time to regret the loss of a dear friend - that you were to me. Preciously unique, and uniquely precious. Friend to hang out with. Friend to fight with. Friend to discuss books with. Friend to share music with.

I've remembered you through all these years and I do admit and accept that it has been with regret - regret over the fact that there was no closure. I didn't talk to you, write a letter explaining things to you or even call you when I should have, when I could have. I didn't pursue you even though I knew why you were angry, hurt, upset. When you showed your indignation, even you didn't know that it would become a broken bridge that would never mend....

And then suddenly, one day, it was too late. You were gone in a flash (48 hours is all that it took for the Meningitis to consume you) and all I was left with was regret... Sometimes I cannot remember your face and I have to close my eyes and think about an event in our carefree lives, and...the irrevocable cycle of sadness begins again...

A broken heart can be like that. It can refuse to heal. It can be stubborn in its sadness. It can survive on all-consuming anguish. It can be steeped in remorse - of what could have been had we mended that bridge....

But today, 17 years after you died in a hospital in Delhi at age 24, I make a promise to you my friend.

I promise to remember you the way you were - a happy, intelligent, lovable guy - a guy who hardly ever understood jokes, who was clumsy and sloppy, a good basketball player, even if sometimes lacking in sportsman spirit... You were who you were and you were my friend. I miss you but I won't regret your absence from my life...ever again...

Although I will wonder sometimes, "Would you know my name, if I saw you in heaven...?" something inside me will always know the answer ....
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